A Travel Price Comparison for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons Ho Chi Minh City vs. Sapa

Should you visit Ho Chi Minh City or Sapa?

Which city is more affordable and which is best for your travel style? If you're trying to figure out where to go next, comparing the travel costs between Ho Chi Minh City and Sapa can help you decide which place is right for you.

Ho Chi Minh City

Ho Chi Minh City, formerly Saigon, is the largest city in Vietnam. It previously served as the capital of the Republic of Vietnam (South Vietnam). The metropolitan area, including Ho Chi Minh City, Thu Dau Mot, Di An, Bien Hoa, and other surrounding towns, has a population of more than 9 million people and continues to grow.

Sapa

Sapa is a beautiful town in the northern mountains of Vietnam by the border with China. Many travelers pass through the area on their way from China into Hanoi. Alternatively, some travelers head north from Hanoi to spend a few days in the beautiful mountains where tribal cultures are still alive and well. There are a good number of ethnic minorities that populate the area. The eight populations in the area include H'mong, Dao, Tay, Giay, Muong, Thai, Hoa, and Xa Pho, but the vast majority in the area are H'mong. Within the town of Sapa itself, there are about 7,000 people. The rest of the population lives in the surrounding countryside and are peasant farmers.

Which city is cheaper, Sapa or Ho Chi Minh City?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Ho Chi Minh City is $70, while the average daily cost in Sapa is $31. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each city. Below is a breakdown of travel costs for Ho Chi Minh City and Sapa in more detail.



Accommodation

Double occupancy rooms typically run around $86 in Ho Chi Minh City For nicer amenities and a premiere location, you can expect to pay a bit more.

Double occupancy rooms typically run around $22 in Sapa For nicer amenities and a premiere location, you can expect to pay a bit more.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Ho Chi Minh City $43
    Sapa $11
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Ho Chi Minh City $86
    Sapa $22

Food

The average traveler spends about $12 per day in Ho Chi Minh City for food, but obviously this is dependent on the type of restaurant and the amount of food ordered. To save money you can grab a lighter lunch or dinner, or you can try fast food or street food.

The average traveler spends about $14 per day in Sapa for food, but obviously this is dependent on the type of restaurant and the amount of food ordered. To save money you can grab a lighter lunch or dinner, or you can try fast food or street food.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Ho Chi Minh City $12
    Sapa $14
Typical Food prices in Ho Chi Minh City

Here are some examples of typical meal expenses from previous travelers to Ho Chi Minh City:


  • Street Food Dinner (for Two)
    $4.64
  • Pizza
    $5.64
  • Sweet Rice
    $1.30
  • Pork Sandwich
    $0.65
  • Casual Lunch (for Two)
    $7.36
  • Western Lunch (for Two)
    $13

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Ho Chi Minh City

For Ho Chi Minh City, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Ho Chi Minh Private Half Day Street Food Tour with Local Students: $18
  • SaiGon Street Food Tour By Scooter With Student: $22
  • Walking Food Tour With Local Student: $26
  • Private Street Food Tour on Motorbikes: $28
  • Private Half-Day Ho Chi Minh Food Tour with Local Students: $28
  • Saigon Food Tour by Motorbike with Local Students: $30
  • Walking market food tour by night in Ho Chi Minh city - private groups: $32
  • Small Floating Market & Mekong Delta Tour with Kayak, Boat, Bike, Cooking Class: $35
  • Private Street Food Tour by Scooter in Ho Chi Minh City: $35
  • Street food Tours: $35
  • Half-Day Ho Chi Minh City Street Food Tour By Motorbike: $36
  • Private Walking Saigon Food Tour with Ao Dai Girl by Night: $38

Typical Food prices in Sapa

Here are some examples of typical meal expenses from previous travelers to Sapa:


  • Casual Dinner (for One)
    $2.95
  • Quick Breakfast (for Two)
    $2.39
  • Coffee (for Two)
    $2.60
  • Western Dinner (for Two)
    $8.65
  • Pho Soup
    $0.65

Local Transportation

Ho Chi Minh City's transportation costs can vary by the type of transport chosen by visitors. Naturally, taxis and private drivers cost much more than public transportation options. On average, visitors spend $13 per person, per day on transportation in Ho Chi Minh City.

To get around in Sapa, the average visitor spends $8.18 per day, per person. This includes the costs of taxi rides and private drivers as well as public transportation, which tends to be much more affordable.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Ho Chi Minh City $13
    Sapa $8.18
Typical Local Transportation prices in Ho Chi Minh City

Here are some examples of typical transportation prices from actual travelers in Ho Chi Minh City:


  • Short Taxi Ride
    $1.52
  • Taxi From Airport
    $8.68
  • Cyclo Ride (One Hour)
    $1.74

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Ho Chi Minh City

Also for Ho Chi Minh City, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Private Transfer: From Ho Chi Minh city - Siemreap (Cambodia) - MPV 7 seat: $595
  • Private Car Transfers From Ho Chi Minh To Siem Reap, Cambodia: $499
  • Private transfer: From Ho Chi Minh city - Phnompenh (Cambodia) - MPV 7 seat: $311
  • Private Car Transfers From Ho Chi Minh To Phnom penh, Cambodia: $259
  • Ho Chi Minh to Nha Trang - Private Transfer: $250
  • Private Car Transfers From Ho Chi Minh City To Dalat: $189
  • Private Transfer From Ho Chi Minh To Mui Ne (16 seater car): $168
  • Transfer Tan Son Nhat Airport to Mui Ne (Beach resort): $150
  • My Tho Transfer from Ho Chi Minh city: $149
  • One-way Private Transfer from Saigon Airport or Center to Mui Ne: $136
  • One way: Sai Gon - Mui Ne Private Transfer ( 7 Seats Car): $136
  • Private Transfer from Ho Chi Minh to Can Tho (VCA) Airport: $128

Typical Local Transportation prices in Sapa

Some typical examples of transportation costs in Sapa are as follows:


  • Short Motorbike Ride
    $1.30

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Sapa

Also for Sapa, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Sapa Private Tour With Bus Transfer ( Sleep at hotel): $217
  • Sapa Tour 2 Day / 1 Night Transfer By Luxury Limousine From Hanoi: $174
  • Private Departure Transfer - Sapa to Hanoi Airport: $141
  • Authentic walking and Homestay in Sapa and transfer by Bus ( 3 days 2 nights): $135
  • Visit Cat Cat village, trekking Ta Phin and transfer by Bus: $99
  • Easy trek Lao Chai - Ta Van with homestay and transfer by Bus: $85
  • Limousine transfer round-trip Hanoi-Sapa: $30

Entertainment

Sightseeing, admission tickets, things to do, and other entertainment expenses in Ho Chi Minh City can vary widely by price. On average, visitors spend around $17 per person, per day on entertainment and sightseeing here.

In Sapa, the costs for things to do, activities, admission tickets, and other sightseeing expenses are on average $5.33 per person, per day.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Ho Chi Minh City $17
    Sapa $5.33
Typical Entertainment prices in Ho Chi Minh City

For Ho Chi Minh City, here are some examples of average entertainment and activity prices from previous travelers:


  • Massage
    $6.07

Tours and Activities in Ho Chi Minh City

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Ho Chi Minh City.

  • "The Intimate Saigon" by day (city half-day tour): $50
  • "The Intimate Saigon" by night (food tasting tour): $59
  • 1 Day Fishing Adventure Private Tour: $125
  • 1 Day Saigon Culinary Private Tour: $147
  • 1-day Cai Rang Floating Market With Sweet Chocolate Taste Private Tour: $187
  • 1-day Ho Chi Minh city and Cu Chi tunnels group tour: $45
  • 1-day My Tho boat trip in Mekong Delta group tour from Ho Chi Minh: $33
  • 10 days 9 nights classic Vietnam tour from South to North: $545
  • 10-day Small-Group Vietnam Highlight Tour: $1,374
  • 2 Days - HCM City Tour & Floating Market: $229
  • 2 Days Private Non-Touristic Local Homestay in Tra On: Mekong Delta: $195
  • 2 Days and 1 Night Private Mekong Delta Tour from Saigon: $202

Typical Entertainment prices in Sapa

For Sapa, here are some examples of average entertainment and activity prices from previous travelers:


  • CatCat Village Tax
    $1.74
  • Ta Phin Village Tax
    $0.87
  • Walking Stick
    $0.22
  • Paddle Boat Rental on Sapa Lake (1 Hr)
    $3.47

Tours and Activities in Sapa

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Sapa.

  • 1 day Muong Hoa, Ta Van trekking with lunch, tour guide, entrance fees: $61
  • 2 Day Motorcycle tour to explore the real Mountain life: $488
  • 2 Days Homestay: Great Tour with Various Options: $53
  • 2 day-3 Night Small-Group Sapa Trekking Tour by Night Train from Hanoi: $149
  • 2-Day Fansipan Trekking of Sapa Tour: $462
  • 2-Day Spectacular Sapa Trekking and Bus Tour (overnight at 4 star hotel): $133
  • 2-Day Spectacular Sapa Trekking and Bus Tour (overnight at 5 star hotel): $174
  • Authentic Walking and Homestay Sapa Tour 4 Nights 3Days (Best Selling): $202
  • Bac Ha Sunday Market Private Tour Full Day: $108
  • Bac Ha Sunday Market Private Tour Full Day: $89
  • Bac Ha Sunday Market Private Tour Full Day: $99
  • Cat Cat Village Private Tour Full Day: $58

Alcohol

Alcoholic beverages can often be a significant portion of a traveler's budget, and the costs can vary greatly from person to person. In Ho Chi Minh City, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $6.94.

Alcoholic beverages can often be a significant portion of a traveler's budget, and the costs can vary greatly from person to person. In Sapa, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $7.11.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Ho Chi Minh City $6.94
    Sapa $7.11
Typical Alcohol prices in Ho Chi Minh City

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for alcohol and nightlife costs in Ho Chi Minh City:


  • Beer
    $0.43

Typical Alcohol prices in Sapa

Some typical examples of the costs for nightlife and alcohol in Sapa are as follows:


  • Two Beers
    $1.08


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Ho Chi Minh City and Sapa, we can see that Ho Chi Minh City is more expensive. And not only is Sapa much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Sapa would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Sapa and be able to afford a more luxurious travel style by staying in nicer hotels, eating at more expensive restaurants, taking tours, and experiencing more activities. The same level of travel in Ho Chi Minh City would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Ho Chi Minh City than you might in Sapa.

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Ho Chi Minh City vs. Sapa Travel Comparison

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